Exhibitors and attendees are in agreement: CEDIA 2017 has been a success, with the geniality of sunny San Diego lifting spirits and adding to the excitement of seeing new technologies and old friends.
“I think the show’s going really well, it seems really high energy on the floor, a lot of traffic on the floor,” said Cris Pyle, senior director of marketing at CEDIA. “We expect registration numbers to be up pretty significantly from last year–exhibitors seem happy with how many people are in their booths. I think people like San Diego: it’s easy to get to a lot of different restaurants and it’s all walkable.”
Shannon Townley, CEO of Stewart Filmscreen, agrees that the new location has been a plus. “The show’s been great, the city’s great–I think it’s a wonderful city to come and have a show,” he said. “I think when you look at the quality of the folks coming through, it’s been good. Obviously the external factors like the hurricane are having a little bit of an impact, but we’ve been really pleased with the traffic, the flow, the amenities around to go and take our customers.”
Traveling distance certainly hasn’t been a barrier–as some had concerned with the move to a less centrally located host city–with attendees coming from around the globe to attend. “We’re a U.K. distributor and we have a number of suppliers based in the U.S., so it’s an opportunity for us to meet our key suppliers, to look where technology’s progressing in the marketplace, great solutions that are being based on the back of Amazon Alexa,” said Adrian Ickeringill of Invision Europe. “It’s a great insight into where things are, what things are coming out in the marketplace.”
As for a theme of the show, there hasn’t been a defining trend like emergence of voice last year. According to Rob Baum, president of Pacific Audio Consulting, it’s been more a show of technological progression. “CEDIA 2017 showed the acceleration and continued refinement and evolution of trends that have been building for several years, especially the voice interface, ubiquitous connectivity, and the democratization of doing it yourself, with brands supplying all the tools both for the industry professionals and do-it-yourselfers.”
Another trend, according to Atlona’s Garth Lobban, is the growing interest of integrators in expanding into light commercial work. “Based on what we were hearing from our sales team, we started bringing in light commercial solutions in addition to our residential solutions in the booth,” he said. “I’ve done about five or six demos just on the commercial products alone.”
Ultimately, the industry is all about tying together disparate parts into one synergistic whole–and this requires the people who make that happen to do the same. “CEDIA is one show that gives us an opportunity to collaborate,” said Kaleidescape’s CEO Cheena Srinivasan. “Because the whole point about custom integration is that the dealers–our target audience at the show–they’re the ultimate ones that are putting all the jigsaw pieces of the puzzle together, to render this beautiful experience. So it’s a nice opportunity for us to collaborate and work together, see the partners we don’t often see, and just fortify our relationship with them.”